Road officials set to skimp as salt dwindles

It has been a brutal winter for local communities’ snow removal budgets.
Alex Doty
Apr 1, 2014

Ryan Kemppainen, operations superintendent for the Ottawa County Road Commission, said they went through their entire supply of road salt — more than 30,000 tons for the 2013-14 season.

“We had to get some salt from our neighbors in Kent County and Muskegon County,” he said.

Road Commission officials say they should be in good shape for the remainder of the season even if more winter weather hits the area.

“Each garage site has a supply of ice sand mix — sand and salt — which we feel is adequate to see us through,” Road Commission Finance Director Mike Mikita said. “Salt tons on hand is probably in the area of 500.”

Ottawa County uses a mix of 60 percent salt to 40 percent sand for what it puts on area roads.

Road Commission officials also have their hands full with their winter maintenance budget. While numbers are still coming in, Mikita said the county has spent just over $4 million on the primary and local road system so far this year.

The Road Commission also maintains a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The contract provides full reimbursement for the costs to maintain state highways within the county.

MDOT allocated $1.3 million for 2013 winter maintenance of state highways in Ottawa County this year. However, maintaining the state roads in the county this winter has cost over $2 million, Mikita said.

The Road Commission will review its fiscal year 2014 budget this month. It is anticipated that trimming or cutting planned road improvement projects and other maintenance activities will be necessary to balance the budget.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.